Varicose veins are usually bulging veins running just beneath your skin surface. The veins often appear on the legs and feet. Development occurs when the valve in the veins stops functioning properly and allows blood backflow. Superficial varicose veins (spider veins) are visible swollen and twisted veins surrounded by flooded capillaries patches. Getting varicose veins treatment can bring relief to the pain.
Deep varicose veins are not visible but tend to cause aching or swelling throughout the affected limb, and sometimes, blood clots can develop. When inflamed, these veins become tender to touch. They also impede blood flow causing itchy skin, aching, and swollen ankles in the affected limb. In severe cases, varicose vein may rupture, leading to varicose ulcers on the skin. Besides the visibly swollen veins, on rare occasions, interior leg veins can also become varicose.
It’s best to get medical care in the early stages of varicose veins and avoid further damages with preventative care.
Symptoms of Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are relatively common, especially for individuals with a family with a history of the condition. The disorder affects men and women of any age but frequently affects women in their childbearing years and the elderly. In the United States, the condition affects about 23 percent of all Americans. As mentioned, individuals with varicose veins do not have physical symptoms. However, most individuals have concerns over the varicose veins’ cosmetic appearance.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins mainly occur when the valve inside the veins fails to function appropriately. Healthy veins allow blood to flow smoothly back to the heart. The blood backflow is prevented by small valves that open and close to allow the blood to flow forward. In some instances, the weakness or absence of the veins causes the blood to flow backward. The blood collects in the vein, causing it to be swollen/enlarged.
In other scenarios, the vein wall weakness can also cause the pooling of blood. When the veins become weak, they are unable to push blood back to the heart. This causes the blood volume in the blood vessels to increase, leading to varicose veins. Some of the other less common causes of varicose veins include;
- Inflammation of the veins (phlebitis)
- Congenital abnormalities of the veins
- Blood clots and other conditions that may obstruct the flow of blood in the veins
Varicose Veins – Risk Factors
While varicose veins can affect both men and women at any stage of life, the following factors increase your risk of developing varicose veins.
Varicose Veins – Diagnosis
Varicose veins diagnosis is usually simple since it is easily visible. The doctor will also perform a physical examination to assess the extent of the condition. Here, your physician may also ask you to describe any aching and pain in your limb. You may also need an ultrasound test to check how the veins are functioning or a blood clot restricting the blood flow. Another standard test is the plethysmography test that checks how the affected veins work by measuring the blood that flows through the veins.
Varicose Veins Complications
Although rare, varicose veins complications can also arise. Some of the common varicose veins include;
- Non-healing Ulcers
Sometimes, Varicose veins lead to painful ulcers that form on the skin near the affected veins and ankles. Before forming the ulcer, you will note a discolored spot that deteriorates to become a painful non-healing ulcer. In case you suspect the formation of an ulcer, seek medical intervention immediately.
- Blood Clots
Chronic inflammation in your legs warrants medical attention as it most often indicates a blood clot. Blood clots (Thrombus) are dangerous as they can move up the veins, causing a stroke. When the blood pools in the veins, the affected region becomes painful and swells.
When the pressure builds up in the veins close to the skin, they eventually burst, causing minor bleeding. While the skin breakout may be minor, seeking medical attention is crucial to prevent further complications.
Varicose Veins Treatment
Treatment is crucial to ease pain and discomfort and address other swelling and leg ulcers. Other patients may also want varicose vein treatments to remove the rather unsightly varicose veins.
Varicose Veins Prevention
Admittedly, currently, no proven methods prevent varicose veins ultimately. However, improving muscle tone performance and blood circulation can help reduce the risk of developing varicose veins and prevent the progression of the existing conditions. The following tips should also help reduce the pain and discomfort from varicose veins at your home’s comfort.
Treatments for Varicose Veins
Unlike varicose veins, spider veins are harmless. Most people seek spider veins treatment for cosmetic reasons. However, treatment will also alleviate the mild yet persistent discomfort this condition sometimes causes.
What to Expect from Your Visit to Pedes
Your treatment will begin with an ultrasound examination of your veins, arteries, or both, in your legs to diagnose the presence and extent of the disease. Your test results will be immediately available to review with the doctor.
Once we review the results of your diagnostic tests, our physicians will help you develop a plan to provide you with the best treatment for your disease.
Depending on the extent of disease in your arteries or veins, our specialists may recommend minimally invasive intervention and/or prescribe medications to help your symptoms.
It is important to make sure that you return for every scheduled follow-up appointment to ensure that your disease is appropriately monitored. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please call or schedule a follow-up appointment with our staff.